Torq's Fairtrade Recovery Bars are extremely tasty and easy to digest after a strenuous bike ride, and provide a good mix of protein and carbohydrate to kickstart the recovery process.
Recovery starts the minute you finish a bike ride, and while for many people a cup of tea and slab of cake is the first port of call, there are better options for helping your body start to repair itself. Only Fairtrade ingredients are used in the bars, which are cold-pressed with no added colours, preservatives, artificial sweeteners or flavouring.
The bars contain a 3:1 carbohydrate to whey protein ratio, with 13.5g of protein per bar and just 1g of fat, so healthier than a Snickers. That protein content isn't as high as some protein bars, but Torq is keen to stress that this isn't a pure protein bar, but instead intended 'to fast-track recovery after exercise, not solely to deliver protein'. It's still a decent amount, though.
Torq offers two flavours: Cocoa Protein Crisp and Vanilla Protein Crisp, and they are both delicious, nothing like some of the disgusting protein bars I've sampled in the past. They're easily digestible but quite firm – you definitely have something to chew on. They're not as moist and chewy as the company's regular energy bars.
Torq says it has developed the bars to be a 'convenient recovery solution' and to help 'rapid nutrient absorption and subsequent delivery to fatigued muscles', which essentially boils down to kickstarting the recovery process by providing the body with what it needs in a readily available form. It's easy to pack a couple of bars in a bag or backpack for the ride home from an evening race or time trial, although Torq does suggest its Recovery Drink is the optimal choice – rehydrating you as well as providing other 'key ingredients'.
It's always tricky testing energy and recovery products because there are so many variables involved. I ride my bike every day, and after more strenuous sessions I found eating the Torq Recovery bar staved off the immediate effects of hunger and I was noticeably less hungry when it came to having a proper meal once I'd showered and cleaned the bike.
At £2.50 they are expensive to consume daily, but save them for harder or more tiring rides, races and sportives and they don't work out so bad. Buying in bulk also reduces the cost.
Tasty recovery bars, but you might choke on the price
road.cc test report
Make and model: Torq Recovery Bar
Size tested: 65g
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Torq says: "TORQ Recovery Bar utilises a 3:1 blend of Carbohydrate and 100% Whey Protein: Research has proven that consuming Multiple-Transportable Carbohydrates and Whey Protein at a 3:1 ratio immediately after exercise will speed up glycogen synthesis. In other words, it will help you to store carbohydrate more effectively than consuming carbohydrate alone and/or waiting until the 'glycogen storage' window of opportunity has passed. It is also proven beyond doubt, that Whey Protein is faster acting, more soluble and absorbed/synthesised more rapidly than any other protein source and thus it provides the amino acids necessary for muscular repair with little delay."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Torq says: "Our TORQ Recovery Bars are precisely formulated at a ratio of 3:1 Carbohydrate:Whey Protein, with an extremely low fat content (the lowest of any high protein bar that we know of on the market) for rapid nutrient absorption and subsequent delivery to fatigued muscles. TORQ Recovery Bars are cold-pressed from natural ingredients, meaning that they are not cooked or baked and are certified Fairtrade, ensuring that farmers in developing countries are paid a fair price for the crops they produce.
"We developed the TORQ Recovery Bar to satisfy the need for a convenient recovery solution that does not require a source of water (like a recovery drink) and can be easily transported from place to place. The TORQ Recovery Bar is also incredibly versatile and can be consumed as a healthy low fat, high protein snack, or can even be used in certain circumstances whilst exercising, because of its rapid absorption properties. We make no bones about the fact that we would always advise athletes and physically active people to use our TORQ Recovery Drink preferentially over our new bar as an optimal solution, because our recovery drink contains a significant amount of water for rehydration purposes, as well as large doses of L-Glutamine and D-Ribose. That said, the TORQ Recovery Bar will still offer significant recovery benefits if taken at the correct dose and is an ideal choice for a post exercise feed when a training session isn't quite rigorous enough to justify a full dose of TORQ Recovery Drink."
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Helps stave off hunger after a ride and is a healthy alternative to other more popular post-ride snacks.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Delicious recovery bars that would score higher but they're expensive if you want to use them regularly.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.